I'm curious whether or not others on the list take this stuff seriously. I
haven't decided yet if I think eye-tracking is a useful tool, and although I
definitely have some opinions on the subject, I'd like some other
perspectives to form a better picture.
Several of these "actionable lessons" bother me. For example, "One-column
formats perform better in eye-fixation than multi-column formats."
This seems painfully obvious, and also completely useless. Of course a
single-column is going to perform better - you only have to look at a single
column rather than two! But how does this help us? I'm certainly not going
to start using single-column layouts all the time just because it's faster.
When it comes down to it, a few seconds difference in the time it takes to
digest a page isn't going to make or break a user's experience. What matters
is whether the content is worth it. What matters is whether the value in
exploring the page outweighs the difficulty in doing so.
Another: "Ads placed next to the best content are seen more often."
Again, painfully obvious. But does this mean that people actually "see" the
ads, or that they happen to fixate on them for more than a millisecond? Does
it mean they read them? Click them more often?
There are so many factors to consider in web design and usability, it's hard
to imagine that eye-tracking results can yield information that is truly